New Prineville Chamber director named

PRINEVILLE, Ore. - The Prineville Chamber of Commerce is pleased to announce Holli VanWert as their new Executive Director, she hits the ground running on Monday, December 10th and is looking forward to serving the community. 

The Chamber is pleased with the experience and leadership VanWert brings to the job after five and a half years as the executive director of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce.

VanWert is taking over after Bill Gowan's resignation earlier this fall.  Joe Becker has served as the Interim Director for the past two months.  "We are extremely grateful to both of them for their service and leadership," says Chamber Board President Ed Yoder. 

The Chamber exists to support local business as well as attract new business and promote tourism. Yoder says.

"Our goal for the future is not to only increase local business growth, but also drive tourism through multi-media marketing," says Yoder.  With new leadership and fresh board members, the Chamber of Commerce is looking for greater wins and momentum in 2013."

As the Executive Director, VanWert sees herself as a personal advocate for local business owners and looks forward to encouraging and supporting these leaders in the community.  She believes that if existing business owners are thriving and well supported it will attract new business to Prineville. 

As for tourism, she says, "I've played in Prineville and the Ochocos all of my life, we have what so many are dreaming of when it comes to recreation and outdoor entertainment."

Having run her own small business for 12 years, VanWert understands the demands and challenges and looks forward to spurring on momentum and equipping area leaders with the tools and encouragement they need to succeed.

Personal Message from Holli VanWert:

As a Madras High School Graduate and 30 + year Central Oregonian, I spent the last 15 years involved with the Chamber of Commerce. I started with volunteering for events and completed that time with 5½ years as Executive Director of the Madras Chamber of Commerce.

It takes honesty, courage, and perseverance to lead in such a dynamic time as we are now. I was raised to keep my eyes wide open, to look to the future and create opportunity where others might not see it. This style of leadership is not for everyone and this is where the Board of the Madras-Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce decided we part company. I am thankful for the many years of wonderful memories created in Madras and look forward to capitalizing on those successes.

I have always believed that a Chamber of Commerce is the heartbeat of a community. We do not build roads or sign permits, but we are the business advocate, the welcome center and the community champion. I am very excited to be with the Prineville-Crook County Chamber of Commerce and am equally excited to meet the community so as I might remind you that the biggest draw to Prineville and Crook County is you!!

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